Klan attempting to make in roads into Pulaski
- by Chris Harris
The Ku Klux Klan is again spreading their controversial message to Pulaski County.
In the last few days, local citizens have reported the appearance of fliers apparently left by the Klan, the organization known for its extreme views on race and other issues, as well as for the distinctive white-hooded costumes they’re known to traditionally wear.
The fliers bear the name of the “Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan” out of Pelham, NC.
On its website, www.kkkknights, the organization describes itself as “a Brotherhood” with a goal to “restore America to a White Christian nation ...”
The Anti-Defamation League, meanwhile, on their website archive.adl.org, has called the Klan a “racist, anti-Semitic movement with a commitment to extreme violence to achieve its goals of racial segregation and white supremacy.”
Pulaski County isn’t the only place to receive these fliers; they’ve been popping up around the state of Kentucky as well.
Additionally, the Klan established a presence by distributing similar literature in January, around Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Lt. Det. Brett Whitaker of the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department said that “some folks had called in” about the fliers, estimating about 10 or so such reports.
“It’s something we’ve been made aware of,” he said.
The fliers themselves aren’t against the law, however. “It’s a free speech issue,” said Whitaker.
Nevertheless, it’s a combustible one. “It’s our concern that nothing turns violent,” he said.
A call to the number on the flier resulted in hearing a recorded message regarding the Loyal White Knights views on racism and “white power.”
Whitaker wasn’t sure exactly what areas the fliers have appeared in, but the Commonwealth Journal was informed of neighborhoods in Bronston and around the Somerset Mall area that have received the papers bearing the image of a hooded figure and a burning cross.
Capt. Shannon Smith of the Somerset Police Department hadn’t been made aware of any such fliers in the city limits, but knows it does tend to happen from time to time in concentrated residential neighborhoods.
“They are advertising an activity just the same way that legitimate civic groups might,” said Smith. “Unfortunately, it’s a socially unacceptable group, and the misbelief is that the law prohibits those types of organizations from advertising or anything else.”
However, “it could be a form of harassment if a particular person is victimized by frequency of the propaganda,” said Smith. “That doesn’t even begin to address the hate crime issues if someone is being singled out because of their race.”
So far, there have been no reported harassment issues or altercations, according to law enforcement — and they’d like to keep it that way.
For those who find the fliers at their house and are disturbed by them, “I’d advise them just to pick up the stuff, throw it in the trash, and not be concerned about it.”
Chris Harris is a staff writer for the Commonwealth Journal. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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